Article

Nigerians mourn as Access Bank CEO, wife, son dies in helicopter accident

1079 views

Following the death of the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, in a helicopter accident in California, United States, US alongside his wife and son on Friday 10th February 2024, well-meaning Nigerians have expressed shock at the development.

Reacting to the incident Ngozi Okoko Iwela through her verified X handle, wrote: “Terribly saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO Access Bank @HerbertOWigwe, his wife and son as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash. My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Group employees and Management @myaccessbank and my younger Brother Herbert’s partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace.”

Also reacting to the crash, former vice president Atiku Abubakar wrote, “In the words of one of Nigeria’s finest CEOs, Herbert Wigwe, “Today and always, let us remember that life is a precious gift – a chance to breathe, feel, love, experience and connect. Let’s honour this gift by living with purpose, kindness, and gratitude, making every moment count. Let us number our days.”

I’m deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident that led to the loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, and his family. Indeed, Herbert Wigwe, consummate banker, education promoter, and philanthropist, numbered his days. On behalf of my family, my heart goes out to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unfortunate incident. May their souls rest in peace. -AA

Speaking on the demise of Herbert Wigwe, Festus Keyamu wrote: “The reported tragic loss of my friend, brother and not-far-away neighbour in Lagos, Herbert Wigwe, the co-founder of Access Bank, the CEO of Access Holdings and the founder of Wigwe University, is very devastating. He was in my office earlier this week (where we took the pictures below) and actually left my office to fly out of the country and never came back. I am also shocked to learn his wife, son and other friends were involved in this tragedy.”

“We were on the verge of announcing something big for the aviation sector, the reason he actually came to the office with his entire team, both from Access and Wigwe University. This is surreal and I am lost for words.”

“May Almighty God comfort his aged parents and sibling (who were also my neighbours in Lagos for many years as a very young lawyer in Anthony Village), his immediate family members, his staff, friends across Nigeria and dependents.”

Commiserating with family and friends over the incident, Godwin Obaseki, Governor, Edo State wrote: “The news of the passing of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank Holdings, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, who died in a helicopter crash in the United States of America, has left me extremely shocked and devastated.”

“We also unfortunately lost Wigwe’s wife and son as well as the former group chairman of Nigeria Stock Exchange, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, in the crash.

“The tragic incident is painful and heart-wrenching, and we pray for God’s abiding comfort in this profoundly difficult time.

Wigwe was a colossus in Nigeria’s financial sector, leading Access Bank to become an international brand that placed Nigeria on the global map of first-class financial services.”

I commiserate with the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Holding, the Nigeria Stock Exchange, friends and associates, and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Until his passing, Herbert Wigwe was 58. He was born on August 15, 1966. He had a degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.

He also had an MA in Banking and Finance from the University College of North Wales (now Bangor), and an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London.

Wigwe started his career at Coopers & Lybrand, Lagos, as a management consultant, later qualifying as a chartered accountant.

After a stint at Capital Bank, he joined Guaranty Trust Bank where he spent over a decade working in corporate and institutional banking, rising to become the executive director in charge of institutional banking.

 Wigwe also served as the Chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited, Access Investment & Securities Limited, Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS). He was the Chairman of Access Bank (UK) Limited until his demise.

 In 2016, in recognition of “his exemplary role in the society and contributions to youth development”, the Boys’ Brigade (BB), inaugurated Herbert Wigwe as State Patron for Lagos State Council.

 Wigwe was named 2016 Banker of The Year, separately, by The Sun and Vanguard newspapers.

 In 2016, Wigwe founded The HOW Foundation, a non-profit organization

Leave a reply